Love is in the air today but there will be fewer greenhouse gases after one school spent the day planting 850 new trees in Leeds.
This morning, on Valentine’s Day, Greenhill Primary School hosted a “Love Your Planet” event which saw each child plant a tree as part of a project led by Leeds City Council in partnership with White Rose Energy and the Woodland Trust.
The scheme offers schools free trees for children to plant and schools across the city are being encouraged to get involved.
The council’s goal is that, with help, children in Leeds will plant one tree for every child born in 2020 (approximately 10,000) by 2021.
Young people across Leeds have been vocal in expressing their desire to see real action against climate change and last March the council declared a Climate Emergency. The tree planting scheme gives schoolchildren a stake in protecting this planet and our futures and supports the council’s ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 by helping to offset carbon emissions. The trees will also bring additional green spaces to the city and provide new habitats for local wildlife.
The project comes in response to the recent Big Leeds Climate Conversation which found widespread public support for tree planting schemes; 58% of people said they would take part in such a scheme and 96% thought that protecting biodiversity should be a priority for Leeds.
The benefits of tree planting are widely known and include absorbing greenhouse gasses, helping to promote biodiversity, reducing the risk of flooding and improving our mental health.
Trees planted as part of this project will also be counted towards the White Rose Forest, part of the Northern Forest project.
Councillor Julie Heselwood, Leeds City Council's deputy executive member for learning, skills and employment said:
“We are so pleased that schools in Leeds are getting on board with this scheme and it was fantastic to see so much enthusiasm at Greenhill Primary School this morning. Tackling the climate emergency is one of the council’s key priorities and I am proud that, through this project, we are giving schoolchildren the opportunity to play a part in taking real action against climate change and help us with our ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.”
For more information, a list of available tree species or an application form for the scheme, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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